Just call me Dr. Jones. Some day. Maybe.

by Janie Jones

So, today was a hallmark date.

I officially began my graduate school application process.  It took the better part of the day.  I had to dig up unofficial transcripts from high school and 4 different colleges I’ve attended over the years.  I had to fill out a ton of forms, write an essay about why I want to get my PhD, another about what qualities I would bring to the graduate school, and I had to send letters to people asking for recommendations.  Before I can complete my application I need to get my GRE scores and I need to get confirmation that the people who I ask for recommendations are willing to give them.  Then, I send $75.  If the graduate school thinks I am worthy, then I have to get all official transcripts from my high school and all the 4 colleges I’ve attended sent in.  After that, if my official transcripts confirm I’m still worthy, by April I should know if I will be allowed to torture myself for another 3-5 years in pursuit of my PhD.

It is sort of daunting.  I have to admit, there have been a lot of days in the past year or so when I have doubted whether I want to commit to more time in school.  I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into.  Most people say it’s tough.  Then again, calculus was tough.  Physics was tough.  I’ve been on the tough circuit this past couple of years.  I haven’t always performed as brilliantly as I’d have hoped, and I am quite tired.  As Forrest Gump would say, “I’m kinda tired.  I think I’ll go home now.”  But I have no home to go to, so I guess I might as well keep on running this race and, in just a few more years I could hold the ultimate academic title.  Knowing I am this close, I don’t think I could be satisfied with not going the full distance if the powers that be in the admissions office will let me in.

And I think they will.  I mean, I just have this feeling.  I hope it’s not bullshit, but I do think I could do well in graduate school.  I don’t know why I feel this way exactly.  I just really think this is what I’m supposed to do.  Sure, I don’t know everything.  I certainly haven’t maintained that A average.  But I have yet to give up, and science is 90% being too stubborn to quit even when you have no clue what you’re doing- yet.  That’s the beauty of being a scientific researcher.  You don’t have to know everything.  If you did, you wouldn’t have a job anymore.  Research in science is all about not letting what you don’t know stop you.  You learn along the way, and the more you learn, the more you realize there’s a ton you don’t know, and so you do more research.

And “we” don’t know a lot of things yet about Lyme disease and the bacteria responsible for it.  I can do a lot toward a doctoral dissertation studying them little bugs.

So, cross your fingers for me.  Pray I don’t have to blog 5 months from now that I’m a washed out, has been, PhD wannabe.

It would be way cooler if some day you could be telling all your friends you read the blog of the famous Dr. Jones who discovered a way to prevent Lyme Disease and cure chronic Lyme Disease back when she was a strung out, neurotic undergrad.

Heh.  Paging Dr. Jones….

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4 Comments to “Just call me Dr. Jones. Some day. Maybe.”

  1. The Doctor thing is funny. Most people I know who have one (myself included) never use the initials and all. They just sign their name, first name only if possible (including their email sig).The people who are idiots (HOA, e.g.) sign with every possible silly thing can can think to add. So you get “Jerkoff Numbnuts, Owner of Tupperware, Deputy of 102-B Sales,” blah blah blah. But I know you will do this and USE YOUR POWER FOR EVIL as I do.

    • My first year back in college I had a professor who, very first thing said, “My name is Dr. Soandso. Not Mary. Not Soandso. Not Ms Soandso. I spent a lot of time and money on my degree, so unless you also have a PhD, you can call me Dr. Soandso.”

      I actually really liked her a bunch. She was more into retaining professionalism and respect than just being a stuck up ass. Still, I really want to walk into her office one day and say, “Hello Mary. Remember me, your old student Janie. Or would you prefer to now call me Dr. Jones. After all, I spent a lot of time and money on my degree.”

      She would really appreciate that I think.

  2. When I said “I know you will do this” of course I mean getting the degree, not being an asshat with the email sig. To be clear. Also, typos. Sorry.

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